If you’re one of the more than 50 million Americans with an autoimmune condition, here’s the most important thing to know: autoimmune diseases are reversible and manageable. 

You don’t have to resign yourself to worsening symptoms and harsh drugs for life. Traditional doctors tend to treat autoimmune disorders by focusing on symptoms. They prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and powerful immune-suppressing drugs to turn down an “overactive” immune system.  Which can leave your body vulnerable to invaders (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi)

While this may relieve symptoms, it doesn’t address the root causes of why the immune system went haywire in the first place. Like with most chronic conditions, the standard approach is inadequate.  It only treats symptoms, not the underlying problem.

What’s needed is an approach that investigates and fixes the factors that caused the immune system dysfunction in the first place. Only by addressing and correcting those root causes can we truly improve autoimmune conditions and move patients into remission.

This requires taking a step back and looking at lifestyle factors like diet, gut health, infection, and stress that may have triggered the immune system to turn on the body’s own tissues. With lifestyle changes and targeted nutrition, we can help calm the inflammation and get the immune system back in balance.

Medications have their place, but for long-term management of autoimmunity we must seek out and remove the triggers that set the immune system off course in the first place. Only then can we achieve true healing and regain health.

By addressing these primary factors, you can often get autoimmunity under control and even into remission. Here’s what you have to focus on:

1. Heal your gut. Your gut houses 60-80% of your immune system! The more your gut is irritated (infections/dysbiosis, inflammatory food, toxins, etc) the more your immune system is triggered. This leads to more antibodies and other inflammatory chemicals being produced by your white blood cells. And your immune system starts tagging anything and everything that looks even remotely foreign. That means eventually your immune system starts to identify your own cells and tissue as foreign and voila you got yourself an autoimmune condition. A leaky gut, where intestinal walls become loose, allows things to enter your bloodstream and further promotes the inflammatory cascade that causes or worsens autoimmunity. How do you heal the gut?

• Remove Infections that lead to inflammation and dysbiosis

• Support digestion (acid production, bile flow, bowel movements)

• Cut out inflammatory foods, toxins and stress 

• Take nutrients to build your gut lining

2. Optimize your diet. Inflammatory and processed foods worsen leaky gut and inflammation. Try an elimination diet for 30 days – cut out everything questionable – then slowly reintroduce foods to see what you react to.

3. Reduce toxins. We’re constantly bombarded by chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that load up our bodies. While some exposure is inevitable, keep your home and office as toxin-free as possible. Support your liver’s detox pathways with nutrition, hydration, sweat-inducing activity, Epsom Salt baths, and castor oil packs.

4. Heal infections. It is important to identify the best herbs or supplements that will clear out the infections that have set up shop in your gut. Antibiotics often times make things worse or will only help for a few weeks before symptoms return because they do not restore balance. Whereas the herbs that we use more gentle and effective at not only clearing out the infections but restoring balance within the gut so that I doesn’t just come right back. 

5. Relieve stress. Chronic stress revs up your sympathetic nervous system and cortisol production which then suppresses your immune system, triggering or worsening autoimmunity. Utilize meditation, exercise, hobbies, etc. Whatever works for you.

My mission is to support those with autoimmune conditions on the path to true solutions and new ways of living. I hope this helps get you started! 

If you would like to book an in-person or virtual appointment with Dr. Grady Donohoe, click the link below!